Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Customer Assistance: 1-800-613-6743

Get Answers to Your Banking Questions

My spouse has passed away. I don't have a credit history established in my name. How can I get a bank credit card?

Banks normally require an applicant for a major credit card to have established credit. So, the first step is to establish a credit history in your name.

Visit the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau website or read their tips on building credit (PDF).

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

Still need help?

Contact Us